Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Drive Around Douglas and Arapahoe Counties

July 30, 2016

I made a circuit around Douglas and Arapahoe Counties today.

My first stop was Stonegate North Pond where a Pectoral Sandpiper spent a few weeks last summer.  The pond is still there, south of the 470-toll highway and just west of Jordan Road.  Today a Spotted Sandpiper and ten Killdeer were the only shorebirds.  It maybe worth checking in a few weeks when shorebird migration gets in full swing.

At the Douglas County Wilderness Area in Lone Tree, I looked for yesterday's two Cassin's Kingbirds along the public trail; without success.  Much of the eastern part of the wilderness area is restricted to HRCA members.  A gracious Highlands Ranch Community Association member was kind to let me tag along.

We hiked several trails through the massive groves of scrub oak.  Many Western Kingbirds (over a dozen) were seen in the couple of miles we hiked.  On the way back to the parking area, I found a Cassin's Kingbird on a telephone wire.

Back at the parking area, I pulled out my scope and was able to see and identify the Cassin's Kingbird from there.  Scope the wires east of the parking area while looking toward the large electrical area.

No Dickcissels were found at the Walker Gravel Pit area and road or south across Highway 96.  One male Bobolink was still in the field south of the Winkler Ranch entrance.

My next stop was the fields along Elbert Road at 4.1 miles south of Hwy 86 (Elbert County).  At least one Dickcissel was heard and seen singing.

Heading up Kiowa-Bennett Road I found several Common Nighthawks on telephone wires in both Elbert and Arapahoe Counties.

Another Cassin's Kingbird was found at the cut hill along Arapahoe County Road 42 at one mile east of CR 161.

The only Dickcissels I found in Arapahoe County today were along CR 30, just east of CR 129 and one just north of CR 129 and Orchard Road.

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